I doubt that any of the MNLF or BIFF groups would even try to come near any US Forces in the area. They know that;
1. We are a whole different breed of animal and will use "overwhelming force" in any encounter requiring self-defense.
2. It will just bolster the case for the US to send more forces there (which is what happened in 2002 when they killed 2 SF soldiers with an IED).
They will avoid any contact with the US at any cost and the US will not provide an opportunity for such an encounter.
My friends there are fedup with this crap and there are lots of armed civilian auxiliaries now augmenting the AFP and Police. There were some mishaps today involving these auxiliaries with the AFP. These have since been remedied (according to the Mayor).
Some of the terrorists (that's what they are), have moved to the west in the Canelar barangay which is just to the west of City Proper. They were encountered at a police checkpoint. 2 were killed and the remaining 8 of that group are being hunted down.
It is a very tense situation and the lack of public information being disseminated only leads to the confusion and panic being encountered by the residents.